The rise of TikTok and how it could work for your business
Video-sharing app TikTok has dominated the social media world over the past two years, experiencing a surge in popularity during the Coronavirus pandemic. With clear instructions to stay at home, many of us yearned for new ways to keep ourselves entertained. Enter TikTok.
The platform has reached heights few would have thought possible, and now it has the potential to become the world’s largest social media platform.
The more ‘traditional’ social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, have had quite a different trajectory. Instagram and Twitter’s user figures have fallen as of late, while Facebook has recently seen its active daily users drop for the first time in the platform’s history (The Guardian). Facebook and Instagram have even replicated TikTok’s signature vertical video style in creating their own rival platform.
Does this ring alarm bells inside your head? Are you questioning whether it’s still worth dipping into Facebook Business Manager to run advertising campaigns, or whether transitioning to TikTok can derive greater results? While TikTok is a relatively new platform, it’s on the tip of the tongues of some of the most influential people on the planet so it’s worth considering if the platform could work for your business.
What Is TikTok?
TikTok is a video sharing social media platform where users can share videos of up to 60 seconds on a topic of their choosing. These videos vary in nature from funny cat videos to commentary and analysis of geopolitical events, but the former is likely to experience greater engagement.
While TikTok is one of the most popular social media platforms right now, it is still a mystery to many, so here’s how TikTok works. It stands out from its competitors with its unique “For You Page”, which learns the users’ likes and dislikes and tailors the content shown to them based on the user’s behaviour. While the option to follow creators on TikTok exists, this isn’t the driving force of the app.
This is good news for your business. The For You Page gives brands the chance to reach a global audience without the need for specialist marketing techniques or thousands of followers. All you need is truly engaging content, and TikTok’s algorithm will take care of the rest.
It’s certainly a powerful platform which should not be ignored. For example, The White House recently turned to TikTok and its creators to spread information on the conflict in Ukraine (Washington Post). This utilised both the platform’s immense reach, and its potential to be a powerful communication tool.
The Winds of Change for Social Media Users?
The success of TikTok has sparked rival platforms to release similar features, most notably Meta’s Reels.
The feature, which has been rolled out across Facebook and Instagram has been widely labelled a TikTok clone, and this label doesn’t stray too far from reality. Mark Zuckerberg has even name-dropped TikTok while speaking to investors about Facebook’s startling decline, noting that TikTok is “growing very quickly” (Washington Post).
While Reels has been launched to quell the flow of users away from Instagram and Facebook, confusion around its Bonus programs bred dissatisfaction among users. This could mean some will stick to TikTok for the time-being, which would see Meta hit yet another hurdle in its bid to maintain the social media hierarchy.
With this in mind, it seems that TikTok is the place to be, however, it is a comparatively new platform, and with it comes a new set of rules and best practices. The traditional formula for social media success may not prove to be the dead cert that it once was.
Forget What You Know About Social Media Marketing when it comes to TikTok
One of the major roadblocks in the way of a successful TikTok campaign may be the reluctance to abandon expertise in traditional social media marketing. This ignores the reality that social media is constantly changing, and with it, its userbase. The way TikTok users interact, the content they enjoy, and what they want from brands has all changed, so it’s a case of embracing this change or falling by the wayside.
TikTok has cornered the Gen Z and millennial market. In fact, 75% of TikTok users are aged 18-34 and, as a result, much of the content on TikTok targets this younger audience. But this should not discourage businesses from considering TikTok as research has shown that TikTok users are much more receptive to promotional content than users of other platforms.
TikTok’s ‘Authenticity, Happiness and Joy’ research (The Drum) found users see ads as more ‘creative’ and ‘original’ on TikTok, and that 56% of users feel more positive about a brand having seen it on TikTok. This means that brands on TikTok are likely to find that its users are going to be more receptive to their presence than users of other platforms.
The key to Facebook’s dominance in recent years has been its advertising tools. But while Facebook, for now, reigns king in this respect, TikTok is hot on its heels.
Why is TikTok Good For Marketing?
TikTok now offers a business account and ads manager tool. Combined, they deliver an advertising experience similar to that of Facebook Business Manager. With these tools, businesses gain access to insights and analytics unavailable to the standard TikTok user, along with the ability to launch paid ad campaigns.
So, is a TikTok business account worth it? Well, a big benefit to advertising on TikTok is that its user base is highly receptive of brands that enter with creative, disruptive campaigns that grab attention. That’s because the majority of TikTok users feel more positive about a brand having seen it on TikTok and actively embrace creative and original ads that the platform displays.
Advertise with imaginative and engaging content on TikTok and you will have access to a large millennial and Gen Z audience that Facebook is currently struggling to attract and maintain. In a space where relevancy is key, TikTok is fast becoming a leading force.
In light of this undeniable fact, it should certainly be a platform that you consider, especially if customers up to the age of 40 are your sweet spot.
The key to success on TikTok is for your brand to remain down to earth, to offer value in TikTok videos, and to have a creative approach towards advertising. With these three points in mind, you stand a good chance of maximising your business’s reach on the platform.
Not sure where to start? Need an experienced team to manage your social media platforms, including TikTok? Contact Team Absolute today on 01392 680740 or email email@example.com